One of the biggest decisions Fernando Torres has made in his career is joining Chelsea from Liverpool in 2011.
The Spaniard left Anfield – where he was a fan favourite – to join a Premier League rival in a deal worth £50 million.
But Torres became disillusioned with life at Anfield when the mindset of the club changed.
“Everything changed when the owners started talking about selling. The mindset of the club went in a different direction,” Torres said in ‘Ring of Fire: Liverpool FC into the 21st Century’, a book by Simon Hughes, via The Anfield Wrap.
“Alonso was sold, Mascherano was sold, Benítez went too. Not all of the money went into new players. The club was saying, ‘We still want to be the best and we want to win’ but doing the opposite.
“By the time I left Liverpool, when everybody was leaving, I did not have the feeling that I was going to win there. It was hard because I had been so happy.
“I’d never felt happier than during my time at Liverpool. But then I felt betrayed. That’s the truth.”
Gerrard wanted him to stay
Steven Gerrard pleaded with Torres not to leave but the striker’s mind was already made up.
“I asked him what he thought I should do,” Torres added. “Stevie told me not to go, never to leave Liverpool. But he realised too I had to do what was best for me; he understood that my situation and his were different.”
So, on January 31, 2011, Chelsea broke a British transfer record when they spent £50m to bring Torres to Stamford Bridge.
Torres flopped at Chelsea
We all know what happened next. Torres failed to justify his price tag in west London, scoring 45 goals in 172 appearances, and, following loan spells at AC Milan and Atletico Madrid, left Chelsea permanently last year to return to Atleti.
The 33-year-old failed to score more than eight Premier League goals in any of his seasons at Chelsea. His famous goal against Barcelona at the Camp Nou in 2012 has salvaged some of the memory of his Blues’ career but, for the most part, he was a flop.
Torres explains why he struggled
And Torres believes Chelsea, and the different style of the team, simply didn’t suit him.
“Chelsea was not good from the beginning. I did not find a team that suited me on the pitch. [There was a] good organisation [off it] but the different personality [of the team] was not for me, even though I got what I wanted [by winning trophies],” he continued.
“When I was at Chelsea, I did not start well for a few reasons. We won almost everything I wanted to win. But maybe that was not enough for me.
“I was missing playing with Stevie and I missed playing for Liverpool. I thought a lot about the games with the team we had, fighting together. It really means something to me.
“It is something I found again at Atlético: a team together. Maybe we don’t have huge names but we are a team that competes and enjoys every victory.
“It does not matter who scores the goal, it does not matter if at the end we cannot win, because at least we are doing something with our hearts.”